2022 System Builds: Raptor Lake, Ryzen 7000, RTX 40x0, and PCIe 5.0....

I’m psyched for my first new build since 2018. (That’s a long time for a hardcore sim pilot.) Right now I’m focusing all my energy on the i9-13900K/KF as the brain, but curious if by some chance AMD’s going to be a viable option. The new chips would have to be as fast/faster in MSFS and DCS for me to consider it. I have a friend who wants to buy my current rig in late October so waiting till January for the rumored AMD 7000 chips with 3D vcache isn’t an option.

This is my current build idea…

I already have the Define 7 White case, and I have some extra storage I’ll be moving over from my current rig.

[EDIT: Grokked and not a concern, but leaving for historical purposes. Feel free to skip paragraph unless you enjoy seeing technology confuse someone.] One thing I’m still trying to grok is the PCIe 5.0 m.2 SSD in conjunction with a 4080/4090 video card. Looks like there’s a shortage of PCI-e lanes to let both an x16 video card and a PCIe 5.0 SSD both run at full potential. But MSFS and DCS are super-sensitive to loading performance – moving to a PCIe 4.0 m.2 on my previous rig cut loading time in MSFS significantly. So given the numbers I’m seeing hyped for Corsair’s 5.0 m.2 SSD, it might be worth losing a tiny bit of video card perf? Or might there be motherboards that somehow support not having to compromise on the lanes?

If I’m not dumb, this will likely be my last insane no-holds-barred system build, as if it lasts four years I’ll be in the realm of “you want to retire this decade, spend your money smarter,” so I’m more focused on perf than compromising to save a bit of cash on this round.

Okay, it looks like the 13900K has 20 pci-e 5.0 lanes, and the Z790 chipset will have some of its own, so the PCIe limitation shouldn’t affect that combo. I think the warnings I was reading were based on lower-end CPUs with fewer PCIe lanes. Phew. Ludicrous speed attainable!

Wow, after the last couple of years, that just sounds like science fiction specs. Awesome!

I’m aiming for a similar build, with only 32GB of RAM because I don’t need any more and likely not even that much.

I think I’ll be aiming for a couple of 1/2TB NVME drives in a RAID0 array just for the hell of it. My budget is no longer limited and I already have three 4TB SSD SATA Samsung drives for general storage.

I’m upgrading from a 9700K/RTX3080.

Yay - power gamer thread :)

What are you upgrading from - something pretty high end already, right? Are you in a large or well cooled space…? Wondering where 600W or whatever it is will go once out of your case :)

It’s a shame the timing stops you looking at upcoming MBs/CPUs. MB or a non-drop-in CPU is the one thing where the hassle usually outweighs the benefits IMO.

I would wait a couple months and go Zen4 instead. 13th gen Intel looks to be a very small update, while Zen4 is humongous.

I’d be very curious to know what the gains are for sims when you do get to build this. I’m not sure how closely related racing and flight sims are, but they both tend to push all the hardware to its limits. I imagine flight sims benefit a lot more from the faster SSDs if they need to load terrain on the fly. (Is that where the expression comes from? I promise it was unintended.)

I am leaning towards doing a refresh on my PC, but indecisive on what route to take. Currently driving a Samsung G9 with a 3080 and a 9700k. My focus is on higher fps, so think a 4080 would be the way to go. But then I wonder how much my mobo and cpu are holding things back, which takes me to saying just upgrade both.

Or just do what I do now and say “I will upgrade next year!”

You don’t need to decide ahead of time. Do the GPU and see if you’re happy… 4080s aren’t due for a little while in any case.

If you’re playing hardcore sims with lots of physics calculations, then a CPU upgrade would have a lot more impact. If you’re playing almost anything else, then even your current CPU can probably match your monitor’s refresh rate, even with a 4080.

As the monitor resolutions/sizes go up, the refresh rates tend to go down, so your CPU would ironically become less of a bottleneck with more GPU.

I’m still trying to decide what/when to do with my upgrade. Last year I got a real PC building itch, but supply chain issues and crypto meant that everything was insanely priced, if not unavailable. So I scooped the innards out of my 4-year old Dell (16GB RAM, i7-8700, GTX1060 6GB), and wrapped them in a Lancool II Mesh, with the cheapest MB I could find to replace Dell’s proprietary shit, plus a Corsair RM750X PSU, Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280, and a nice 1TB KC2500 for a new OS drive. I also got a 1440p 144Hz G-sync compatible monitor.

The intent then, would be to replace GPU, RAM, MB, and CPU at some point in the near future (12 months) with something a bit nicer. Maybe some nice fans too, to reduce noise. (Noctua is so nice but so expensive)

Since I only occasionally play 3d-intensive games, I was never intending to go above a 3070 level GPU, especially because the level of power usage on the 3080 and above seems obscene. Here’s hoping at least some of the new stuff is more power efficient rather than just burning more watts for more frames. I feel a 4060 or equivalent may be the aim here. I would like to go a little higher on the CPU charts, since I’m sometimes doing video editing and my work laptop doesn’t cut it. 8/10/12 cores would be pretty great.

Ultimately I’m holding on to see the pricing/efficiency on the new gear, and how it compares to scavenging the outgoing stuff for clearance sales.

It’s a pretty good position to be in - no time pressure and new stuff coming out that has to compete for your affection :)

Yep, Core i9-9900K, RTX 3080. So hopefully four generations of i9 will show some improvement.

Oooh, I hadn’t even thought about RAID 0. I have two identical Sabrent PCI 4.0 m.2 drives — might be interesting to see how much material speed up I could get in MSFS/DCS loading with that config. Might try it in initial setup just for kicks.

As I said uptopic, I have a friend who wants to buy my current rig. They’re okay waiting until end of October, but January’s not an option here.

I have to think 9900K to 13900K is gonna be worthwhile. It’s a small increment over one generation, but over four, it should be noticeable, particularly given the rumors of the top boost speeds on this chip.

Okay, everything’s ordered except for the 4090 and SSD. Here’s the final build:

  • Fractal Design Define 7 (white) case
  • Asus ROG Strix Z790-E motherboard
  • Intel Core i9-13900K
  • Corsair Vengeance DDR5 64GB 5600MHz
  • Corsair HX1200 1200W 80Plus Platinum power supply
  • ASUS ROG Strix LC II 360 ARGB White Edition
  • Arctic MX-4 Thermal Paste
  • 2TB PCI 5.0 m2 SSD
  • RTX 4090 video card

Motherboard is overkill, but it has lots of USB and 5 m.2 slots.

If I use the PCIe 5.0 m.2 slot it will drop the CPU slot to x8; seems kinda dumb to do that to a 4090.

Man. I was going to drop a 5800X3D in and call it good :)

Is it rude to ask how much that will set you back? And which VR headset are you using - I think I remember you flew in VR as well as the flat version?

Do you have a Kill-A-Watt or something you could just check the power draw once the throttle’s fully open? Fun to know :)

Not rude at all. It’s right at $2100 before the graphics card. (And I could likely have saved $300 by going for a lower-end motherboard and using a Noctua air cooler, but I’m making enough selling my old rigs that I figured I’d go all out on this one.)

Component Price
Fractal Design Define 7 case $180
Asus ROG Strix Z790-E motherboard $499
Intel Core i9-13900K $659
Corsair Vengeance DDR5 64GB 5600MHz $325
Corsair HX1200 1200W 80Plus Platinum power supply $247
ASUS ROG Strix LC II 360 ARGB White Edition $190.00
Arctic MX-4 Thermal Paste $7.99
2TB PCI 5.0 m2 SSD ???
RTX 4090 video card One Million Dollars

I’m using an HP Reverb G2 VR headset.

I do have a Kill-A-Watt from my hardware reviewing days! I’ll have to dig it out and compare the load between the current 3080 rig and this one when running MSFS.

It might pull… 800W maybe? 250 for the CPU flat out and 450(!) for the 4090 plus a bit for everything else.

Add in a big monitor and you might be pushing a kW? Deary me. I expect you live in a big Superman-style ice fortress, where the heat will be welcome :)

Pricewise, the last couple of years have left me thinking yeah, looks very sensible. I think my current rig probably cost about what that 4090 will :-)

Yeah, my flat-screen is a Samsung CRG9, and I don’t see a “Green Energy” sticker on it anywhere. :)

The i9-13900K can apparently pull north of 300W with power limits disabled. I do not intend to disable the power limits, however!

I mean, comparing the cost of this to my Amiga 1000 with Rejuvenator, Flicker Fixer, RAM card, and 80MB hard drive, it’s cheaper when you adjust for inflation. :)

Yes, but it was a freakin’ Amiga.


I am torn between wanting a similar system to feed my flight sim habits and the realization I would only be able to use it during winter. Forget water cooling, I need some sort of geothermal hook up.